Astori extends Cagliari stay, Cesena sign Ze Eduardo
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Italian defender Davide Astori, the reported transfer target of several English Premier League clubs, has signed a three-year contract extension with Cagliari. The 27-year-old centre-back had been linked with Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and, more recently, Championship club Leeds United, who are now owned by Cagliari's former president Massimo Cellino.

But the defender, who made his debut for the Sardinians in 2008, has decided to remain at the Stadio Sant'Elia for another three years. He told Cagliari's official website: "I've been here six years now and I've grown up and matured while in Sardinia. I wanted to show my gratitude to Cagliari. I thank president (Tommaso) Giulini: it is a decision we took together."

The Lombardy-born player spent five years in AC Milan's youth system before joining Cagliari, for whom he has made 140 Italian Serie A appearances and scored three goals. His commanding performances in the Rossoblu shirt have earned him wider recognition across Europe and he has also appeared seven times for Italy, scoring once against Brazil in 2013.

Cagliari director of sport Francesco Marroccu said: "We are extremely proud we have kept hold of one of our greatest professionals. Davide was in the last year of his contract and so the fact he wanted to renew with us shows he has great faith in the club."

Cesena have stepped up preparations for their return to Serie A by signing Brazilian defensive midfielder Ze Eduardo from Parma. The 22-year-old spent most of his four-year career with the Gialloblu out on loan - most recently with OFI Crete - but now has an opportunity to play regular Serie A football after joining promoted Cesena on undisclosed terms.

A statement published on the Serie B play-off winners' official website confirmed Cesena had taken full possession of Ze Eduardo's playing registration ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.